HOUSTON - With representatives from 27 NFL teams in attendance, the University of Houston football program held its annual NFL Pro Day Monday morning inside its Athletics/Alumni Center. Sixteen 2012 Houston seniors and 2011 senior Tyron Carrier participated in the three-hour long audition in preparation for the 2013 NFL Draft (April 25-27).
The event was highlighted by the workout of defensive back D.J. Hayden who suffered a nearly fatal tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart, in a practice collision on Nov. 6.
Hayden led all participants in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.33 before a slight tweak of a hamstring on his second attempt ended his workout. A member of the 2013 Conference USA first team, Hayden was invited to and attended the NFL Combine in Indianapolis where he was interviewed and medically evaluated by several teams, but did not work out.
Hoping to make impression on NFL programs after starting the 47 final games of his career, linebacker Phillip Steward tied for the day's lead with 26 reps on the bench press while running 4.62 and 4.68 in the 40-yard dash and finishing with a 34 1/2 inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 10 feet and two inches.
Defensive lineman Dominic Miller tied Steward with 26 reps on the bench press. Wide receiver Isaiah Sweeney led all players in the vertical jump (36 1ÂŽ2 inches), 20-yard shuttle (4.02 seconds) and the three-cone drill (6.90). Wide receiver Ronnie Williams had the day's best broad jump at 10-3 while running back Braxton Welford led all comers in the 60-yard shuttle at 11.21 seconds.
The leaders were joined in the workout by Lloyd Allen, Jacolby Ashworth, Brannon Beasley, Everett Daniels, Terrell Douglas, Brandon Hartson, Matt Hogan, Kelvin King, David Mason, Marcus Williams and Carrier, who suffered a torn ACL in the 2011 season and was only able to participate in the bench press at last year's event.
With its annual proday completed, the Houston football program turns its attention back to spring practice beginning with the third workout of the spring session scheduled for Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. All spring practices are open to the public.